Daily Mail ‘shops war hero

by | Mar 11, 2010

Just to press on with the Daily Mail vendetta for a tad longer, the superb Will Tooke has caught the ‘newspaper’ in another piece of fakery. This time, taking liberties with James McKie, the war hero who threw a grenade back at the Taliban.

I saw the grenade come over hit Captain Kerr on the back of his body armour and land between me and him, about a foot away from me, right next to him.

Instinctively, Captain Kerr dived, tried to get away from the grenade, but there wasn’t a lot of room. He ended up on top of me, away from the grenade.

I dived forward, picked up the grenade and threw it off the roof. It detonated half way down in the alley, two feet away from us, with most of the frag going into the wall…

When I saw the grenade there, I thought, I hope it doesn’t hurt too much.

(Do watch the whole interview with McKie – it’s quite extraordinary.)

A story that’s right up the Mail’s Straße but – as Tooke points out – there was a catch:

The problem was, the [only] picture was taken when all the action was over, and it seems [it] just wasn’t dramatic enough for the Daily Mail to match the story of intense bravery. If only there was a picture of Rifleman McKie doing the sort of high octane daring do you see in war movies, you know, like that film The Hurt Locker that just won a load of Oscars. Gosh, that would be perfect.

So what did the Mail do? They took this photo of McKie:

James McKie - war hero

…purloined this one from the Hurt Locker (which pops up in Google image search)…

The Hurt Locker - Oscar winner

…and photoshopped the two together to make this doozy…

War Hero + Oscar Winner = Another Daily Mail lie

Journalism – it’s easy. If you’re shameless.


  • David Steven is a senior fellow at New York University, where he founded the Global Partnership to End Violence against Children and the Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies, a multi-stakeholder partnership to deliver the SDG targets for preventing all forms of violence, strengthening governance, and promoting justice and inclusion. He was lead author for the ministerial Task Force on Justice for All and senior external adviser for the UN-World Bank flagship study on prevention, Pathways for Peace. He is a former senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and co-author of The Risk Pivot: Great Powers, International Security, and the Energy Revolution (Brookings Institution Press, 2014). In 2001, he helped develop and launch the UK’s network of climate diplomats. David lives in and works from Pisa, Italy.

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